1.16.2013

Casa Vega


13301 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 788-4868

Parking: $3.50 Valet, metered street parking
Days: Daily
Times: 2:30-7pm
Drink Deals: $4.95 Casa Vega Margaritas, 20% off all other cocktails and beers
Food Deals: ½ Price All Appetizers!


When I was a kid, I lived in Omaha, Nebraska for a number of years. My dad’s family, my Italian relatives, came to visit from Memphis semi-annually and when they did, we took them to Mister C’s – a (now closed) Italian restaurant that I remember much more for its dark and intimate ambiance than I can the food. I’m sure the grub was top-notch, but even more; I loved the low-level lighting that seemed to make the scenic wall paintings come alive!

It has been years since I thought of Mister C’s and what a surprise to find that it was an Angeleno Happy Hour that brought back those happy memories – Casa Vega! I’ve driven by the location on Ventura Blvd. at the eastern edge of Sherman Oaks numerous times, so was thrilled to hear from our friends at Wagstaff inviting us to come by for Casa Vega’s excellent 2:30-7pm daily Happy Hour!



Immediately upon entering the space, I was struck with the Mr. C’s-ness of the space – dark, windowless, but illuminated with lights (‘twas the season, but something tells me that Casa Vega may keep Christmas lights past the holidays :) and excellent topical paintings like this beaut:

Bathroom Beauty

Casa Vega has that old-timey feel because it is old-timey (for LA at least) – it was founded back in 1956 by Ray Vega. More recently, Mr. Vega’s daughter, Christina Vega, has taken over the restaurant and helped the menu evolve with the times, working to remove trans-fats and to add more healthy and/or vegetarian options. However, since so many regulars have their favorite plates – even with the new menu additions, Casa Vega doesn’t remove any of the old options. This means the menu is a behemoth. A tasty behemoth catalogue.

For Happy Hour, the deals are pretty simple; it’s ½ off all-appetizers and $5 Casa Margaritas or $2 off all other margaritas, cocktails, wines, sangria, and beer. Easy, breezy, beautiful (and ANTM Cycle 3 Winner Eva "the Diva" Pigford was there during our visit, which totally justifies us using Cover Girl’s tagline to describe a Happy Hour!).

   
Chopped Guacamole ($6) and Supreme Vega Combo w/ Black Bean and Beef & Chicken Taquitos and Flour Quesadillas ($7.40)

Queso Fundido ($4.65) and Lobster Quesadilla ($7.50)

Vegetarian Mexican Pizza ($5.50)

Pal Ad-bot and I decided to sample a little bit of EVERYTHING! We tried the Chopped Guacamole (a little spin on the traditional mashed guacamole!) ($6), the Queso Fundido ($4.65), Vegetarian Mexican Pizza ($5.50), Lobster Quesadilla ($7.50), and the Supreme Vega Combo w/ Black Bean and Beef & Chicken Taquitos and Flour Quesadillas ($7.40). We also shared an order of the non-Happy Hour entrĂ©e, Enchiladas De Espinaca ($17.95) – you can watch Christina Vega make them with Al Roker here :). The food was awesome and if we didn’t have our “Good for Dinner” tag already, I would have specially created it for Casa Vega – this was “Good for Dinner and Leftovers!”

We also went with the EVERYTHING option for drinks, trying the:


(listed below, clockwise from top left)

• Casa Margarita ($4.95) – their original house margarita
• Coconut Margarita ($7.16) - DELICIOUS dessert of a margarita 
• Skinny Margarita ($8.50), made simply with Partida Tequila, Fresh Lime, and Agave – have been making these at home for a while now, LOVE them!
• Blood Orange Margarita ($8.50), Patron Silver Tequila, Blood Orange Juice, Agave Nectar, and Fresh Lime – the perfect drink for a hot day!
• California Margarita ($8.50), made with Don Julio Silver Tequila, Cointreau, Agave Nectar, Grapefruit Juice and Fresh Lime (not pictured, like on school day pics) 

 Lady and The Tramp or The Tramp and The Tramp or The Tramps?

Okay, I was lying when I said we tried EVERYTHING – the menu really is intense and I would love to head back and put more of a food & beverage dent in that bad boy! This trip was taken care of by our pals at Wagstaff, but really – even if it hadn’t been, I don’t think anyone can complain about such good food and drink at reasonable prices, throughout the entire restaurant from 2:30-7pm seven days a week!! Bravo Casa Vega! And family, come visit me so I can take you here and we can re-live our Mister C’s days ;)!

--JB

Rating: 5 Martinis

Casa Vega on Urbanspoon

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